Im a real hoarder and can attach sentimentality to absolutely everything but I have no qualms at all in selling my own clothes, in fact I'm quite brutal. I bought a Cath Kidston dress a few summers ago. It was so village green cake sale that the local vicar complemented me on it, which sort of put me off even though he’s very lovely. I wore it all summer 2 years ago, but only a couple of times last summer. So this year I sold it without a backwards glance for £25. A lot less than I'd paid in the sale but I'd had enough wear out of it to feel that I’d got a good cost per wear and a good price. I had a pair of black Saltwater sandals but the following year black just didn't feel summery enough so I sold them and put the money towards a tan pair. It feels like a guilt free wardrobe refresh, almost like having clothes on loan. I buy clothes on eBay too but that's a whole other blog post.
In this post I'll let you know how I sell kids clothes on eBay. I'm not claiming to be an expert and I use the money to buy new clothes for the children, so it's not a income but my way of refreshing my wardrobe guilt free, or even recycling as I’ve bought so many things which I’ve worn and then sold on.
When i I tell friends I sell on eBay and suggest they do too, they normally say they don't have time, or it's too much effort or they just can't be bothered. I don't accept this. You can make enough money to put towards new stuff for yourself and the children, and it really doesn't have to be a hassle. It’s soo easy, my husband Jon who won’t mind me saying has absolutely zero technical skills and even less patience has sold loads of his stuff on eBay so if he can do it, honestly anyone can.
Im focusing this post on children’s clothes as they grow out of them so quickly when they’re younger that there’s normally still lots of wear in them and you don’t always want to put everything in the charity bag. If you can make a little bit of money back then why not? It’s all going to go towards new cute clothes anyway.
This is how I do it which could take 2-3 hours a month or a season. You can set aside an hour one day when your little one is napping or do as I do and get a bag and go through it when you’re watching TV in the evening.
I'm making an assumption that you know how to list an item on eBay, but if you’d like me to explain that then please let me know. Here goes....
Before you start
* Check out similar items . If you can see something has lots of bids, see how it's described, what the pictures are like. Watch it and see what it sold for.
* Certain brands sell better than others. I mostly sell Boden and Joules. It's great quality, washes and lasts well and carries a certain premium that people are willing to pay for even if it's been well worn. Next, M&S and Zara are god sellers but there's a lot of it on eBay so it's harder to stand out. Branded trainers like Nike or Converse sell well too. Clark’s shoes and boots are great sellers also.
* Decide whether you want to sell at auction or a buy it now price. Personally I like the Buy it now option, both when I'm selling and buying. There's always a chance you'd get more at auction, but I prefer this way as it's easier and quicker for me and the buyer
* if you choose to list under the buy it now option, set an amount you'd be happy to accept. For me this would be around £3.50 for a good quality tshirt or shorts or as much as £10 for a pretty dress . It may not sound alot but if you sell a few things at once you can sadly get yourself £25 without a lot of effort
* Check your spelling. Mini Bodin won't be searched as much as Mini Boden. This is however a good way to find a bargain.
* Check you're listing in the correct category . I once bought a gorgeous Boden duffle coat I'd found listed under boys clothes . Maybe the seller had bought it for her son, but it wasn't a boys coat, and no one was looking for duffle coats under the boys category. In the girls section coats were selling for £30 or more but I think I was the only bidder on the grey coat which I got for £10. Annie wore it all winter then I sold it on. As a girls coat.
* Inspect everything carefully . If anything is damaged or faded you really should know about it and be honest in your listing. See the point below.
I could have straightened this dress a bit better, and done a better ironing job too! Show details like trims, pattern , lining and any marks or imperfections. Show the brand and the size if possible. Take pictures of all logos.
* Describe everything accurately . Don't be put off selling something if there a small mark or hole, but be honest. In children's clothes, especially young childrens I'll describe something with an imperfection as for example 'small hole in front, please see pictures , but perfect for playing clothes and plenty of wear left'
Someone might be buying clothes for playing or for nursery so they won't be put off by imperfections as they will get trashed anyway. But be honest and point any marks or holes out as if you don't, people will get annoyed. There's no point in thinking once you get a complaint or bad feedback , well they got a £30 dress for £3.50 as your irate customer won't see it that way, even if it’s true! But they might have been happy to buy it if they'd read an accurate description in the first place. I also describe items as ‘well worn and washed’ which is a perfectly acceptable description if something is faded .
* On the same point don’t be put off listing something even if you think it’s too far gone. That’s up to the buyer to decide, not you. As long as you include lots of pictures and a good description there will always be someone looki,g for exactly what you’re selling.
* Take as many pictures as possible, and always in good daylight. Take photos of the back, front, close ups of any decorative details, pockets, buttons, any lining. Basically anything that shows the quality or design . I also take a photo of the label which shows the brand and the size. Take good photos also of any marks, holes, fading. Show scale so if there's a hole try and show how small/ large it is. If it's tiny take a picture of the whole garment to show that it's not noticeable unless you really look (or if it is noticable the buyer can see that too)
* Sell seasonally. Summer clothes from May to July, school uniform, brownies uniform, school coats and shoes in July/ August. Coats and boots from September. children grow out of clothes. There's no merit in selling a children’s summer dress in October unless someone is loooking for a bargain, and you don't want to undersell, just keep it for next year and sell it then.
Tips for bulk selling
I find it’s easier to set aside some time and bulk sell rather than in dribs and drabs. A friend of mine lists 5 things before she comes back downstairs after putting her children to bed! That might seem a lot but if you’re selling some clothes, toys, and general stuff it soon adds up. I prefer to take my pictures one afternoon then list a whole bag full the same evening.
As you're sorting through your children’s clothes or shoes, get a bag or box together for eBay. I normally have a charity bag, a hand me down bag and an eBay bag. If it’s out of season, put it to one side.
When you get chance, wash anything that needs washing and iron it.
Get your pile and take pictures of everything in good daylight . I normally wait until I have about 10 items and I do it all at once.
That evening, or whenever you get chance get your bag and add everything one at a time until the bag is empty.
It does make a difference when you list. For example don’t ever list clothes at auction for school age children that ends at 3.30 on a Monday as chances are your prospective buyer is in the car doing the school run and not waiting to bid on an eBay auction (again, you can get bargains this way but always think of this when selling). Think of times when mums and dads are busy and avoid them completely. Some theories suggest that buyers are most active on Sunday and Thursday evenings. You can still actually list your items at any time but make sure you choose the option to schedule your start, not list immediately. If you schedule your listing to start at 8pm on a Thursday evening for 10days, it will end on a Sunday evening and will have 2 weekends to be found too. Scheduling your listing costs literally a few pence extra but I would thoroughly recommend you do it. if you’re using buy it now though it makes absolutely no difference at all when you list, which is another reason why I like selling this way.
The same same theories apply for toys too but I’d always say leave toys if you can until at least early October when people are thinking of Christmas presents and stocking fillers. I’ll write another blog post on toys and another one again on household goods.
I hope you’ve found this post useful? I’d love to hear your comments and if you have any questions please ask. If you'd like a post on how to actually list on eBay, or about selling other things then please let me know.
thanks so much for taking the time to read this, and please let me know what you think..I hope you found it useful.